Can Circulating Nurse Sit?

  1. In Our usual practice, Only Anaesthetist, Surgeon, ORTechnician and Pregnant Nursing Staff can sit in the theatre. Scrub nurse and circulating never have a seat, I wonder...how abu other OR practice?
    •  
  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   spineCNOR
    Good goggly woogly! That seems ridiculous to me - I have worked in OR's in the South and Southwest, and there is always a stool in the room for the circulator, and of course for anesthesia.

    For anyone else - surgeon, scrub- it depends on the type of case. Some cases are "sitting" cases (such as hand cases), and some are not.

    It seems that it would be difficult for the circulator to fill out the usual volume of paperwork, implant sheets, etc, etc, etc, while standing up. As long as the circulator does all that she/he needs to do in the room, I see no reason why this person could not sit down when she has a chance, nor do I know of any reason in the AORN standards why the circulator couldn't sit. The main thing would be for the circulator to use her judgement on this issue.
  4. by   heartholder
    the circulator can sit, as long as they face the field. I don't sit very often, but when I do, I pull up a prep table with my paper work and face the sterile field. I also put extra suture, laps and whatever I think the scrub may need during the case. One reason I don't sit is that as soon as I sit the scrub, surgeon or anesthesia needs something.
  5. by   stevierae
    We sit as much as we can, which isn't often, because as soon as you sit down, you often jump right up to get something for your scrub. Some of the best circulators I've worked with sit the entire case, scooting their stool (on wheels) along the floor. Heck, I 've worked with scrubs who sit even for big vascular cases, simply putting their stool up as high as it could go, or setting it on 2 lifts.

    Of course, you should be able to sit!!! Face it, some cases are pretty darn boring once you're into them. Your eyes don't need to be glued to the field, as long as you keep your ears open and anticipate the needs of the surgical team.
  6. by   shodobe
    I sit every moment I can. My knnes aren't as young as they once were. We have stools for everyone and I just scoot around when possible. I also don't need to face the table because "I hear all and see all" I do have a nack for hearing just about everything that is said up on the field, they usually don't talk about me. I did read somewhere in here awhile back where a manager wouldn't allow their circs to sit during a procedure. I would tell her to take a hike, my legs are too important. Mike
  7. by   stevierae
    Originally posted by shodobe
    I sit every moment I can. My knnes aren't as young as they once were. We have stools for everyone and I just scoot around when possible. I also don't need to face the table because "I hear all and see all" I do have a nack for hearing just about everything that is said up on the field, they usually don't talk about me. I did read somewhere in here awhile back where a manager wouldn't allow their circs to sit during a procedure. I would tell her to take a hike, my legs are too important. Mike
    Mike, you and I think so much alike (as evidenced by this and previous posts) that I think we were separated at birth, or simply have identical personalities!

    I've worked at places where management and the tight a**ed "Miss AORN" types have written "policies"which forbid sitting and reading.

    Most of these types don't scrub and are not very good at circulating, so since their eyes must be glued to the field at all times, they assume we are all like them.

    People like Mike and I, and many, many others are pretty darn good at anticipating the needs of the surgical team, because we play both roles (scrub and circulate.) We UNDERSTAND what's going on up at the field at any given second.

    We KNOW what should be on the field, and it is either there or available in a heartbeat. We don't need to keep jumping up and down on command from the team, or leaving the room--if we don't see it in the room, we have it readily available BEFORE THE CASE STARTS. They generally have it BEFORE they need to ask.

    People need to relax and not be so intense during cases. I've worked with circulators who knit and crochet during cases. I, for one, applaud them. Why the he** not, as long as they can hear what's going on?

    Mind you, this was NOT a slam at AORN; just a comment on the very anal types who have to make a big production out of things that are really very simple.

    These types LOVE to dictate policy, but would be hard pressed to tell a vascular stitch from a retention stitch, or a bowel clamp from a Balfour. When the surgeon yells out "Sweetheart!" they think he is talking to them, and jump up and say, "Yes, Doctor?" When they realize he was asking for a retractor, they act all cute and giggly. CLUELESS. And these are the people creating policy and procedure manuals.

    Get organized before a case starts, and sit as much as you can, even when you prep.

    There will be plenty of cases (traumas) where you'll never get a chance to sit down. I agree with Mike: save your legs for those times.
  8. by   VictoriaG
    Knit and crochet????!!!!! I am on the floor laughing! Never in my life have I done anything so unprofessional, and I am not an AORN type either. I can just imagine Dr. Z.'s face if I walked into the OR with my quilting. I sit every chance I get, and in very long cases, sometimes work on stats, PI, or stocking the room. I have never heard the rule about facing the sterile field. A "circulator's ear" is our most important asset.

    V
  9. by   Pam RN
    My old educator was a "miss AORN" type and for good reason. When I went to a new hospital the circulators were reading cooking magazines and copying down recipes with their backs to the field. I was so appalled. I used to make fun of the "miss AORN" types but after seeing that display of unprofessionalism I take back my jokes! The scrub would ask for a suture or something and the nurse couldn't rip her eyes from her magazine! "Sure, doc I'll get when I'm done with this article."
  10. by   shodobe
    Well, some things do seem ridiculous. We don't sit and read magazines and such, but we know whats going on up at the table. With years experience you can sit and read some and still hear whats going on. We have some surgeons who like to hear their music at fairly high levels, so you have to talk a little louder to be heard.
  11. by   Marijke
    It seems to me another case of using common sense and inteligence. Of course you should be able to have seat as long as the case permits it. There is absolutely no reason why not. The job can be challenging enough with all the running around that we do. A rule against giving your poor feet a rest is stupidity.
    I am writing this with my feet in a lovely footbath, after a long day of running around.

    Marijke
  12. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    Of course we sit down. We have some nurses with knee problems and they sit through the case while the surgeon and the GP assist stand. SAVE YOUR LEGS WHILE YOU CAN...
  13. by   gypsy277
    I sit usually when I am doing paperwork/computer. Sometimes, my scrub says " Gosh, You're sitting!" I try to stay in on the surgery. After being a scrub nurse for 6 of 13 years as an LPN/ORT, I know what a lazy circulator looks like!
  14. by   yankeecamper
    I work with surgeons who wait for a circulator to sit and then ask for something ridiculous like the "otis" elevator!

    I try to watch the field, but I will sit when I know they have what is needed and the procedure is going smoothly. Of Course, I keep my ears and eyes open for the unexpected.

close